The Idaho Transportation Department is partnering with local law enforcement this Fourth of July, providing police with additional resources to enforce sober driving.
Starting Monday, nearly 60 different Idaho law enforcement agencies will ramp up efforts to spot impaired drivers, according to an ITD news release.
“The Fourth is a really fun time of year, but it can also be very dangerous,” said John Tomlinson, ITD’s highway safety manager, in the release. “If people choose to drink while they’re celebrating, it’s important they’re mindful of the dangers of impaired driving and that they have a plan for a sober ride home.”
Between 2013 and 2017, impaired driving was a factor in 38 percent of all fatal crashes in Idaho, according to ITD.
Additionally, the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes is higher at night. Fifty-seven percent of Idaho’s impaired driving crashes occur between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m., the release said.
“This is a holiday where parties go late into the night, and with that comes an increased risk,” Tomlinson said in the release.
The Idaho Falls Police Department is one of the several dozen agencies participating in the partnership with ITD.
Jessica Clements, Idaho Falls Police Department’s public information officer, said a grant from ITD will fund the increased effort from local law enforcement.
“We will have additional officers out through that first week of July who will be on the lookout for impaired drivers,“ Clements said.
Every Idaho Falls Police officer will be working on the Fourth of July.
“We want people to have a safe and enjoyable holiday and we hope they make plans ahead of time so they can do that,” Clements said.